THE plat du jour at Nulle Part Ailleurs in Bordeaux cost pounds 12m on Friday night, but then again it was served up by Zinedine Zidane and Christophe Dugarry. The French pair, Juventus playmaker and Marseilles striker respectively, teamed up two years ago to buy their brasserie - which translates as "Nowhere else" - at the same time as taking Bordeaux to the Uefa Cup final and putting themselves on the transfer map. And on Friday they teamed up again to put France on the way to victory against South Africa.
But even though the Bordeaux-born Dugarry, 25, has played for Milan and Barcelona in the last two seasons, life has probably been kinder on his older brother David because he gets to run the restaurant. And while Christophe has been hounded by injury and the French media, David simply looked after his friends, fed them canapes and provided water from suitably blue bottles, to support les bleus.
Yet before kick-off the mood chez Dugarry was still downbeat. Despite the presence of six kilted Scots dancing to the "Marseillaise" between tables and Zidane and his fellow former Bordeaux hero Bixente Lizarazu in the starting line-up, Christophe had not been picked to start. David said: "That was a catastrophe." Others might disagree. He had only scored twice for France before in 22 games and many have accused the French manager Aime Jacquet of bowing to pressure, from Zidane among others, to include him. The equivalent of Glenn Hoddle picking, say, an out-of-form Tottenham player for England.
Then with Stephane Guivarc'h's first-half injury came Dugarry's chance. From a Zidane pass, he fluffed an easy opening after only three minutes on the pitch which had the regulars in blue suits muttering into their steaks tartare and had his brother leaping to his defence - "The ball was too quick for him" - but nine minutes later Dugarry scored, which for David must have made the last two years of defending his brother all seem worthwhile.
Zidane's corner was met by Dugarry's header and sparked celebrations normally only witnessed at grands prix, not respectable restaurants. David demanded champagne and rasped: "That was extraordinaire. He has scored our first goal in this World Cup and he is my brother. And if he scores again it will be expensive for me but it could never be too expensive." Then Christophe helped set up the second and, indeed, no expense was spared as David and friends tried to disprove the theory that the French do not care about hosting this World Cup.
But after Thierry Henry wrapped up the 3-0 win and the Scots had packed up their kilts, a more sober David considered France and his brother's hopes. And he cast a doubt over whether he would be lifting one of his World Cup-shaped bottles of Zidane and Dugarry red wine on 12 July. "I do not know if Christophe will be a first choice now. But I do not think France will win the World Cup. There is still Brazil."
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